Mitch McConnell coy about SCOTUS hearings next year
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is playing coy about whether the Senate will hear from Supreme Court nominees next year. All this assumes that the Republicans win a decisive majority in the Senate at Midterms – a likely prospect. The leftists and their tame media don’t like it. They don’t have to like it; they just need to remember that elections have consequences.
What Mitch McConnell said – and didn’t say
The story comes from Axios, and the New York Post picks it up. Jonathan Swan interviewed Mitch McConnell on his show and pressed him on Biden’s Supreme Court picks. You can watch the full interview here:
Swan asked the Senator,
Can you make a commitment to the American public here today that you would at least hold hearings on President Biden’s nominee?
The Senator replied,
Most hypotheticals I don’t answer. And that whole question puts the cart before the horse.
And then he said that, assuming Republicans clean up at Midterms, he’ll work with Biden if “he’s willing to be a moderate.”
That’s a mighty big if, considering how Biden has governed since taking office. Bill Clinton willingly played moderate beginning in 1995. That’s one reason why the federal government made money in Clinton’s second term instead of losing it. But Biden? Forget it.
And when Mitch McConnell told Swan that he chose not to answer, that was a stroke of genius.
Mitch McConnell has just made Supreme Court appointments a definite Midterms issue. And that will also be important in that ranked-choice jungle primary in Alaska. People of Alaska, if you want a Senator who will save civilization instead of working to destroy it, you have your choice. Don’t let Lisa Murkowski back into the Senate. Period. End of memo.
Why this matters
It matters because the Senate has often made a mockery of its advise-and-consent role. The Senate set its bad example on Supreme Court nominations with Robert Bork in 1987. The Cato Institute correctly observes that qualifications do not matter in the Senate. One thing only matters: ideology. The refusal of the then-Democratic Senate to confirm Bork told conservatives everywhere: if you want good Constitutionalists on the court, recapture the Senate.
The Senate almost did it again, to Clarence Thomas in 1992. Remember who was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee then: Joe Biden. And remember what Thomas’ fellow blacks said about him: “We’re going to Bork him.” Maybe the only reason that didn’t happen is that Clarence Thomas is black and Bork white. Never mind – Clarence Thomas is now the best protector of the Constitution now sitting on the Court.
In contrast, the Senate, effectively under Democratic control, just confirmed to the court a woman who won’t even give the concept woman a Constitutional definition. And she would swing at the foundations of the Constitution with a pick-ax if she could. That she can’t is only because he has only two, maybe three, other votes to muster.
Why Mitch McConnell said this kind of thing the first time
We come now to 2016. Antonin Scalia had just died – and CNAV will continue to assert that he died from an act of murder. Barack Obama then nominated Merrick Garland to replace him. But Mitch McConnell would have none of it. He knew that the Democrats were going to nominate a venal shakedown artist who couldn’t possibly win election. So he – correctly, as it turned out – proposed to let Donald J. Trump nominate his own candidate to the Court.
We all remember Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) blubbing about the failure of the Garland nomination. CNAV suggests that his conduct as Attorney General shows why he should never have gotten a nomination to be dogcatcher.
Thankfully, Mitch McConnell pushed for hearings on the Amy Coney Barrett nomination. She got onto the Court – and Clarence Thomas himself swore her in. Since then, she has disappointed a few times, but on issues that have mattered long-term, she has come through. And if she didn’t see her way clear to taking up the case of Texas v. Pennsylvania, the Election of 2020 case – well, sometimes you have to illustrate disaster by allowing it. Such has been the definite case with the Biden administration.
So now Mitch McConnell has put conservatives on notice again: change the Senate, and stop any more Ketanji Brown Jacksons – or Merrick Garlands.